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Motifs & Symbols

Alternatively, browse terms in alphabetical order according to their Chinese Pinyin 汉语拼音

Chinese Pinyin: Yi Ba Lian
Chinese: 一把莲
Name Of Image: Lotus bouquet
Description:

Also called ‘yi shu lian’ (一束莲). The motif is presented as ‘a ribbon-tied bouquet of lotus in bud, full bloom, and seed pods accompanied by leaves, with or without some other water plants such as arrowheads’. The earliest example of …

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Chinese Pinyin: Yu
Chinese:
Name Of Image: Fish
Description:

Fish is a basic composition motif in Chinese pictorial art. Its Chinese pronunciation of 鱼 ‘yu’ puns with the word 余 ‘yu’, meaning prosperity. It is an auspicious wish to one’s wealth. Depending on the context, the actual type of …

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Chinese Pinyin: Yu Hua Long
Chinese: 鱼化龙
Name Of Image: Fish turning into dragon
Description:

Ordinary fish in the pond was hoped by ancient Chinese people to turn into a vigorous and powerful dragon flying in the sky. It can be traced back to as early as Song dynasty in Chinese literature for children or …

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Chinese Pinyin: Zhe Gui
Chinese: 折桂
Name Of Image: Plucking a branch of osmanthus blossom
Description:

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on the night of full moon in the eighth lunar month. Chang E (嫦娥), the Moon Goddess, is worshiped on this occasion. Chang E’s husband was the legendary archer, Yi (or Hou Yi, 后羿), and …

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Chinese Pinyin: Zhi Ji (Chang Wei Zhi)
Chinese: 雉鸡 (长尾雉)
Name Of Image: Pheasant
Description:

Long-tailed bird. To be differentiated from other birds in Chinese painting, such as peacock, phoenix, rooster, quail, magpie, sparrow, etc.   Related Pun Rebus: May the country enjoy peace and good order permanently 长治久安

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Chinese Pinyin: Zhu
Chinese:
Name Of Image: Bamboo
Description:

Bamboo in Chinese art is a symbol for a man with humbleness in quality. When bamboo is painted together with pine trees and/or plum blossoms, it symbolises as one element of the ‘three friends in the winter’. The pronunciation of …

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